Aug. 4: Two officials of an infrastructure development company headquartered in Calcutta died in sleep today after a fire engulfed the Odisha hotel they had put up in.
A third person from Gujarat also died. Three engineers of the Calcutta-based McNally Bharat Engineering Company Limited (MBE) escaped with injuries. Three of the nine clients in the hotel were unharmed.
Initial reports said the fire broke out in the hotel in Keonjhar’s Barbil town around 3am in a first-floor laundry room following a short circuit. Some clients rushed out but the trio could not, possibly because smoke engulfed their rooms.
The police said Goutam Basu, 60, an associate vice-president of MBE, and Arun Kumar Choudhury, 52, one of its senior general managers, died of suffocation. The company — all five employees were on an official trip — has its office in Mangoe Lane in central Calcutta.
Basu, a resident of Belgachia, has two daughters. Choudhury, a Salt Lake resident, has a son who works in the same company.
The third person who died, Mukesh Mangani, 54, worked with Rebi Technical Private Limited of Ahmedabad.
A fire-fighter said thick smoke was billowing from the three-storey Lucky India Hotel by the time the fire brigade reached. “We rescued the guests by breaking the first-floor windows and doors,” assistant fire officer Narayan Chandra Sethy said. The fire-fighters found three bodies after breaking open three rooms.
The three MBE employees who escaped are Achyutananda Majumdar and Santanu Samaddar — they work with the infrastructure unit — and Sambudhha Banerjee, who works with the engineering unit.
Banerjee is a resident of Lake Gardens while Majumdar and Samaddar live in Ajoynagar off EM Bypass.
“Banerjee was admitted to Tata Main Hospital in Jamshedpur with 35 per cent burns. He is stable now. Majumdar and Samaddar escaped with minor injuries,” said Sumalya Basu, manager, (administration), MBE.
The Calcutta quintet had reached Odisha yesterday for a meeting with Jindal Steel and Power Limited officials on transportation of minerals from Keonjhar district.